Chicago Gargoyle Brass And Organ Ensemble To Launch 2018-2019 Season With IMAGINARY JOURNEYS

Article Pixel

Chicago Gargoyle Brass And Organ Ensemble To Launch 2018-2019 Season With IMAGINARY JOURNEYS

The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble will open its 2018-2019 season by leading listeners on aural adventures through space, time, and fantasy at its Imaginary Journeys concert at 7:30 p.m. September 29, 2018, at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake Street, Oak, Park, Ill.

Unique in the Chicago area, the professional ensemble of brass quintet and pipe organ will showcase world premieres of new works and arrangements it commissioned.

The concert's namesake work, "Imaginary Journeys," was written for the ensemble by Chicago-area composer Mark Lathan. It takes listeners on a rocket-powered interstellar adventure, inspired by recent astronomical discoveries. "For this piece," Lathan says, "I wanted to bring in some drama, somewhat in the manner of a film score." Lathan, who was born Arlington Heights, Ill., and currently lives in Bartlett, earned a doctorate in music from the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received the Henry Mancini Award in Film Composition and studied film scoring with Jerry Goldsmith.

Another premiere is Craig Garner's brass and organ arrangement of Igor Stravinsky's ever-popular Suite from "The Firebird," a ballet based on Russian fairy tales. "The audience will hear an all-time favorite orchestral work like it's never been heard before," says Rodney Holmes, founder and artistic director of the Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble.

Concertgoers will hear the first performance of "Short Fuse" for brass, organ, and percussion by Chris Reyman, a jazz performance specialist teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso. Holmes says, "This piece shows off a very different face of what a pipe organ and brass can do."

Other first hearings include Garner's two-part instrumental suite from English Baroque composer Henry Purcell's "Come Ye Sons of Art."

The concert's journey into the Baroque era includes brass and organ arrangements of movements from J. S. Bach's chorale cantata "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott," BWV 80.

The concert's imaginative works include David Marlatt's "Earthscape," as well as pipe-organ versions of "Clair de lune" ("Moonlight") by Claude Debussy and Louis Vierne.

Tickets and Information

Single tickets for Imaginary Journeys are $20 adult general admission, $15 seniors, and free for those 18 and younger. Tickets are available at and at the door.

Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble

"The Chicago Gargoyle Brass and Organ Ensemble plays with warmth, elegance, and panache," said U.S. music magazine Fanfare in a review of the ensemble's debut CD. "[They] are perfect companions for the music lover in need of calming nourishment."

Ensemble members are Lev Garbar and Andrew Hunter, trumpets; Kathryn Swope, horn; Ian Fitzwater, trombone; and Akshat Jain, tuba. Organist is Jared Stellmacher. Guest percussionist is Logan Fox.

Conductor is Stephen Squires, resident conductor of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, music director of the Millar Brass Ensemble, and professor of conducting in the Music Conservatory of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.

The Gargoyle ensemble takes its whimsical name from the stone figures atop Gothic buildings at the University of the Chicago, where the now-professional ensemble got its start in 1992 as a brass quintet of faculty and students. Under its founder and artistic director Rodney Holmes, it has evolved over the decades into an independent organization of classically trained professional musicians that focuses on commissioning and performing groundbreaking new works and arrangements for brass and pipe organ. More information at

Related Articles View More Chicago Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You